Loading...

Earlier Cardiac Rehab Program Shows Benefits for Heart Failure Patients

May 19, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck
Earlier Cardiac Rehab Program Shows Benefits for Heart Failure Patients

An innovative cardiac rehabilitation intervention started earlier and more custom-tailored to the individual improved physical function, frailty, quality-of-life, and depression in hospitalized heart failure patients, compared to traditional rehabilitation programs. Supported by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National institutes of Health, these new study results were published May 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine and also presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 70th Annual Scientific Session.

“Designing earlier and more personalized individual-specific approaches to heart failure rehab shows great promise for improving outcomes for this common but complex condition that is one of the leading causes of hospitalization for older adults,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. 

For this new study, a research team led by Dalane W. Kitzman, M.D., professor of cardiovascular medicine and geriatrics/gerontology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem,N.C., followed 349 clinical trial participants with heart failure enrolled in “A Trial of Rehabilitation Therapy in Older Acute Heart Failure Patients”. Participants had an average of five comorbidities — diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, lung disease or kidney disease — that also contributed to loss of physical function.

In an earlier pilot study, Kitzman and his colleagues at Duke University, Durham,N.C., and the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa., found striking deficits in strength, mobility and balance, along with the expected loss of endurance in older patients with acute heart failure, the vast majority of whom were categorized as frail or pre-frail. The team decided to focus on improving patients’ physical function, which was already weakened by chronic heart failure and age.

The REHAB-HF team designed earlier and more customized exercise programs that emphasized improving balance, strength, mobility and endurance. They also began REHAB-HF during a patient’s hospital stay when feasible instead of waiting until the traditional six weeks after discharge. After release from the hospital, the study participants shifted to outpatient sessions three times per week for three months.

Compared to a control group that received usual cardiac rehab care, REHAB-HF participants showed marked gains in measures of physical functioning and overall quality of life, including significant progress in Short Physical Performance Battery, a series of tests to evaluate lower extremity function and mobility, and a six-minute walk test. They also had notable improvements in self-perception of their health status and depression surveys compared to pre-trial baselines. More than 80 percent of REHAB-HF participants reported they were still doing their exercises six months after completing their participation in the study.

The study did not show significant differences in related clinical events including rates of hospital readmission for any reason or for heart-failure related rehospitalizations. The research team plans to further explore that and other issues through future expansions of REHAB-HF into larger and longer-term trials with broader participant subgroups.

In The News

Health

Voting

Health

January 24, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Sarah Palin Diagnosed With COVID Before New York Times Lawsuit Trial

NEW YORK — Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was diagnosed with COVID-19 this weekend, which delayed her defamation lawsuit against... Read More

NEW YORK — Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was diagnosed with COVID-19 this weekend, which delayed her defamation lawsuit against The New York Times that was scheduled for a trial beginning Monday. Palin reported her illness to Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court in... Read More

January 24, 2022
by Reece Nations
Political Polarization Impeded Public Support for COVID-19 Response

SAN ANTONIO — Public sentiment regarding COVID-19 mitigation strategies was undermined by polarization from political actors around the globe, according... Read More

SAN ANTONIO — Public sentiment regarding COVID-19 mitigation strategies was undermined by polarization from political actors around the globe, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers from around the world contributed to the study which examined the effects... Read More

January 24, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
FBI Cracks Down on Organizations Accused of Cashing In on the Pandemic

WASHINGTON —  The FBI is investigating an Illinois company that has received $124 million from the federal government for COVID-19... Read More

WASHINGTON —  The FBI is investigating an Illinois company that has received $124 million from the federal government for COVID-19 testing after reports the owners were using part of the money for lavish lifestyles. FBI agents raided the headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, Saturday. It opened... Read More

New Conservative Target: Race as Factor in COVID Treatment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some conservatives are taking aim at policies that allow doctors to consider race as a risk... Read More

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some conservatives are taking aim at policies that allow doctors to consider race as a risk factor when allocating scarce COVID-19 treatments, saying the protocols discriminate against white people. The wave of infections brought on by the omicron variant and a shortage of... Read More

China Tests 2M in Beijing, Lifts COVID Lockdown in Xi’an

BEIJING (AP) — A cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing has prompted authorities to test millions and impose new measures... Read More

BEIJING (AP) — A cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing has prompted authorities to test millions and impose new measures two weeks ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympics, even as the city of Xi'an in north-central China lifted on Monday a monthlong lockdown that... Read More

US Jobless Claims Rise to 286,000, Highest Since October

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as the fast-spreading omicron variant continued to disrupt the job market. Jobless claims rose for the third straight week — by 55,000 to 286,000, highest since mid-October,... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version